three autobiographical books: The last, published in 2008, was a series of letters filled with his own life lessons, written to one of his great-granddaughters, Ayele.
“Each generation must be responsible for itself, and there is no escaping that,” Poitier wrote in “Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter.”
The American Film Institute included him on its 1999 list of greatest male Hollywood stars, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 1974 and President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which opened in 2021, honored Poitier with its 10,000-square-foot lobby, dubbed the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby.
In January 2021, Arizona State University named its new film school after him. The Sidney Poitier New American Film School was unveiled at a virtual ceremony.
The decision to name the school after Poitier was about much more than his achievements and legacy, but because he “embodies in his very person that which we strive to be — the matching of excellence and drive and passion with social purpose and social outcomes, all things that his career has really stood for,” said Michael M. Crow, president of the university.
At the time, his daughter Beverly Poitier-Henderson told The Associated Press her father was “doing well and enjoying his family,” and considered it an honor to be the namesake of the new film school.
When asked what one of his goals in life was, the celebrated actor simply said, “To simply wake up every morning a better person than when I went to bed.”
Rest well, Mr. Poitier. Thank you for what you did for us all.